A surprise delivery of home-baked cookies at year's end got my creative juices flowing--and launched a desire to develop a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe of my own. My goal was to produce a treat that would be soft, chewy and yet just a touch crispy, all at the same time. I undertook this quest with great seriousness, a ton of research, and just enough foolhardiness to think it attainable. So when I ultimately found this "holy grail" of gluten-free cookiedom, my elation could not be contained. Now that I have shared the results with a bevy of tasters, one of whom declared this cookie "a divine marriage of a chocolate chip and a sugar cookie," I am thrilled to share with you my recipe for what I dare to call: Outrageously Good Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Texture is everything with these cookies, so please keep in mind the following advice when planning or making this recipe:
- Butter is rather unforgiving in cookies. Let it sit out overnight or on a counter for a few hours, but do not heed the temptation to soften the butter in a microwave because butter that is too soft will make your cookies spread too much and could toughen the end product. Room temperature butter is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius). It may seem a bit harder in the mixer than you expect, but do not panic.
- Related to #1, do not over-cream the butter and sugars. It should still be a bit fluffy at the end, not like a paste.
- Do not make the cookie balls too small (or they will spread too much and may loose their softness). A mechanical cookie scoop can give you uniform results (a medium, or size 40 scoop--which is about 1.5 inches or 40mm across--is recommended for this recipe).
- When in doubt, if your kitchen is too warm, your butter too soft or you are making more than one batch at a time, let the dough rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before popping the cookies in the oven.
- Do not re-use the same (hot) baking sheet to bake the second half of the dough. Either use a fresh baking sheet or let the first one cool completely.
- A Silpat liner is best for helping to maintain a soft texture, but even parchment is better than a naked pan.
- The cookies should not have more than the tiniest hint of gold around the edges when done. They may even look a little raw when you pull them out. Trust us, they are perfect just like this.
- Let the cookies cool at least five minutes on the pan before removing them to a wire rack. Letting them cool immediately on the rack can over-crisp the cookies.
4 Tablespoons (57g) or a half-stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup (160g) white sugar
1/2 cup (140g) lightly-packed brown sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5ml) almond extract
1 cup (125g) Carol's sorghum blend*
1/2 cup glutinous rice (also called "sweet rice") flour
1/2 cup almond flour (52g)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon guar gum (available in specialty stores and larger gluten-free baking aisles)
3/4 cup (135g) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, preferably Guittard
*For more in-depth explanation of Carol's sorghum blend, please see my post here. Otherwise, make a batch from the following ingredients and keep the unused portion on hand for any occasion when you need an all-purpose gluten-free flour.
1 1/2 cups gluten-free potato starch or corn starch
1 1/2 cups gluten-free sorghum flour
1 cup gluten-free tapioca starch
In a medium bowl, combine all flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and guar gum and set aside.
In the stand of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together both sugars and the the room temperature butter on medium speed until well-combined but still fluffy. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and extracts and then add to the sugar and butter. Let the mixer run on medium speed just a few seconds to incorporate. Add the flour mixture to the the wet ingredients on low and gradually increase speed for about 20-30 seconds or until it forms a cohesive dough. Turn the mixer off and add the chips. Let the mixer run a few seconds on its lowest setting to distribute the chips throughout the dough.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius).
Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with a Silpat liner or parchment. Pack the dough firmly into a spring-action medium cookie scoop, and apportion it into 12 mounds evenly spaced across the sheet.
When the oven is preheated, bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes, monitoring carefully to ensure they do not overbake (they should be very soft--not completely set--and have only the slightest golden tinge around the edges). Remove from the oven and cool cookies on the pan at least five minutes before transferring to a wire wrack. Bake the second half of the dough on a cool baking sheet, also lined with a room-temperature Silpat liner or a fresh sheet of parchment.
Alternately, you can freeze the remaining 12 balls of dough on a half-baking sheet then transfer to an airtight container when firm. To bake fresh, two or more at a time, simply place on a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius) for 9-11 minutes plus an extra minute or two if not defrosted. Talk about an amazing make-ahead dessert!